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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Do Microfinance Programs Help Families Insure Consumption Against Illness?


Families in developing countries face enormous financial risks from major illness both in terms of the cost of medical care and the loss in income associated with reduced labor supply and productivity. We test whether access to microfinancial savings and lending institutions helps Indonesian families smooth consumption after declines in adult health. In general, results support the importance of these institutions in helping families to self-insure consumption against health shocks.

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